READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Monday, June 1st 

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

NPPC Asks Senate to Pass Ag Provisions in HEROES Act

The National Pork Producers Council is asking the Senate to adopt the agricultural provisions in the HEROES Act that was recently passed by the House. Howard “A.V.” Roth (Rowth), NPPC President, says they’re asking the Senate to make the move as quickly as possible. “All pork producers are hurting, and immediate action is necessary,” Roth says. “We need the Senate to act quickly to provide this critical lifeline to hog producers.” He says without immediate government assistance, family farmers, many of whom have been on their farm for generations, will be bankrupted by the impact of COVID-19. That won’t just hurt the farmers themselves, but instead will destroy the livelihoods of countless communities across rural America. That will directly lead to consolidation and contraction in a farm sector that generates more than 500,000 jobs and $23 billion in personal income. The Hagstrom Report says U.S. hog producers are looking at a potential $5 billion loss this year. That’s even though hog processors are working at a faster pace than they were even a couple of weeks ago. However, there is still a backlog of up to 150,000 hogs every week, and producers are losing about $50 to $60 per hog.

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Growth Energy Celebrates the First Anniversary of Year-Round E15

This weekend marked the first anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule that allowed American drivers to purchase ethanol year-round. The rule was issued on May 31 of 2019. It lifted summertime E15 restrictions and represented the culmination of a ten-year campaign that began with Growth Energy’s 2009 “Green Jobs Waiver” petition, which first opened E15 to all model year 2001 or newer light-duty vehicles. “COVID-19 slowed fuel demand in recent months, but the promise of E15 remains stronger than ever as we mark the first anniversary of year-round sales,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “This was a landmark victory for our members, congressional champions, retail partners, and consumers across the country who fought by our side to lift outdated barriers to higher-octane, lower-carbon fuel options.” As drivers begin to return to the roads, Skor says E15 is likely poised for rapid growth. In fact, a recent survey shows that 65 percent of American drivers have big plans for extra summer travel once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. “We already know that customers who try E15 are coming back, again and again, to take advantage of this more affordable and cleaner fuel,” Skor adds. “Last summer alone, E15 sales jumped 46 percent on a per-store basis from the previous year thanks to year-round sales.”

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Dairy Management, Inc., Showcasing the Resilience of the U.S. Dairy Industry

In celebration of June Dairy Month, Dairy Management, Inc., as well as state and regional checkoff teams across the country, are showcasing dairy’s resilience and community impact during COVID-19. The efforts kicked off on June 1, which is World Milk Day, with a video titled “Raising Gallons.” It features Olympians, NFL players, famous chefs, and others raising a gallon of milk to show their appreciation for dairy farmers while supporting the checkoff’s goal of getting nutritious dairy to food-insecure Americans through its Feeding America partnership. “This pandemic has shown just how essential Feeding America and dairy farmers are to helping feed those in need,” says Marilyn Hershey, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer and DMI Chair. “We’re working toward a common goal and our checkoff strategy of getting dairy into the hands of those who need it wouldn’t be possible without Feeding America and its nationwide network of 200 local food banks.” Additional checkoff-led efforts nationally and locally will promote “30 Days of Dairy” throughout June. Each day of the month will be filled with virtual farm tours and content that celebrates the role dairy plays in people’s lives while illustrating dairy farmers’ resilience and contributions to their communities. The checkoff will promote dairy-centric recipes for summer, with stay-at-home cooking expected to continue as a major activity for many families. The content will be published on DMI’s redesigned website at www.usdairy.com.

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U.S. Soy Ready to Meet the Needs of the Global Aquaculture Industry

The U.S. Soybean Export Council hosted a global digital conference called “COVID-19 and the Implications to Aquaculture.” It featured almost 900 global customers and soybean industry representatives from 60 countries. The event focused on COVID-19’s impact on global aquaculture production and marketing supply chains. USSEC says as global markets adapt to these times, U.S. soy is ready to meet the needs of the global aquaculture industry. “Our industry has always prioritized innovation and adaptability to better serve our customers and meet the needs within the global seafood industry, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different,” says USSEC CEO Jim Sutter. “At USSEC, we’ve had an active program in aquaculture for 35 years, with partners ranging from small fish farms in Asia to other large international operations across the globe.” He says no matter who USSEC works with, their top priority is to proudly optimize and demonstrate the value and nutritional benefits of U.S. soy in aquaculture diets. By 2030, USSEC says 62 percent of all seafood produced for human consumption will be a product of aquaculture. With the help of U.S. soy, expanding feed-based aquaculture can address the needs of both supply and demand.

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United Fresh says Produce Buying Climbed During COVID-19

United Fresh Produce released its first quarter of 2020 issue of Fresh Facts on Retail report that details the rising number of fresh produce purchases in 2020. The unprecedented rise in food and beverage consumption at home was brought about by shelter-in-place orders issued to slow the spread of the coronavirus. “Those closures have led to consumers drastically restructuring their eating habits, especially increasing their consumption of meals and snacks at home,” says Miriam Wolk, Vice President of Member Services with United Fresh. “Our current and future Fresh Facts reports will help the produce industry in leveraging current consumer behaviors and fresh produce purchasing trends. First-quarter data highlights show that with health as a top concern, consumers continued to buy fresh food with immune-boosting properties, while also supplementing with shelf-stable and frozen food options. Strawberries and raspberries benefited by extending their reach into more U.S. households. Among vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers were purchased in higher amounts by U.S. consumers. The report also shows a variety of fruits and vegetables continue to influence overall organic growth, presenting many opportunities to innovate and attract health-conscious consumers.

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U.S. Ethanol Production Continues to Slowly Rebound

Energy Information Administration data recently analyzed by the Renewable Fuels Association shows a rise in ethanol production for the week ending May 22. Production increased by 61,000 barrels a day, a nine percent increase from the previous week. The total production came in at 724,000 barrels a day, equivalent to 30.4 million gallons daily, and was the largest volume since March. That was good news unless it’s compared to the same time in 2019. COVID disruptions have tempered the production rate, which came in just over 31 percent lower than the same week last year. Still, over the past month, the four-week average ethanol production rate rose almost eight percent to 651,000 barrels per day, equivalent to an annualized rate of 9.98 billion gallons. Ethanol stocks continue to drop, even though it’s a slow decline. Stocks thinned out by 1.9 percent, coming in at a 19-week low of 23.2 million barrels. Inventories continue to tighten up in all the major ethanol production areas, except for the Rocky Mountains. Total reserves are still 2.4 percent higher than where the volume was in 2019. The volume of gasoline supplied to the U.S. market, which is considered a measure of implied demand, rebounded by 6.8 percent from the previous week but was still 23 percent lower than the same week last year.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

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By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.